About Ladakh
The geographical backbone of Ladakh, the Inuds Valley, particularly from Upshi down to Khalatse, is also the region's histocric heartland. All the major sites connected with the former kingdom's dynastic history are here, starting with Leh, the capital city since the early 17th century when Sengge Namgyal built its nine-storey palace.

Ladakh Ancient Routes
For all its seeming inaccessibility, Ladakh's position at the centre of a network of trade routes traditionally kept it in constant touch withthe outside world. From Chinese Central Asia,the mighty Karakoram range was breached at the Karakoram pass, a giddy 18,350 feet (5,600m).

Ladakh Archery & Polo
In Leh, and may of the villages, archery festivals are held during the summer months, with a lot of fun and fanfare. They are competitive events, the surrounding villages all sending teams, and the shooting takes place according to strict etiquette, to the accompaniment of the music of surna and daman (oboe and drum).

Ladakh Arts & Crafts
There is little tradition of artistic craftsmanship in Ladakh, most luxury articles inthe past having been obtained through imports. The exception isthe village of Chiling, about 19km up the Zanskar river from Nima.

Ladakh Cultural Tourism
Visits to the major Buddhist monasteries and other cultural or heritage sites are the principal tourist attractions of central Ladakh and Zanskar. These sites, most within reach of Leh, may be visited by bus or by taxi. Most villages and/ or monasteries are provided with regular bus services from Leh.

Ladakh Culture
The traveller from India will look in vain for similarities between the land and people he has left and those he encounters inLadakh. The faces and physique of the Ladakhis, and the clothes they wear, are more akin to those of Tibet and Central Asia than of India.

Explore Ladakh
In geological terms, this is a young land, formed only a few million years ago by the buckling and folding of the earth's crust as the Indian sub-continent pushed with irresistible force against the immovable mass of Asia. Its basic contours, uplifted by these unimaginable tectonic movements, have been modified over the millennia by the opposite process of erosion, sculpted into the form we see today by wind and water.

Ladakh Fairs & Festivals
The religious philosophy of Buddhism, however, profound and subtle doesn't preclude an immense joie-de-vivre among its Ladakhi adhe-rents,a nd even solemn religious enactments are made the occasion for joyous celebration.

Ladakh Historical Background
For close on 900 years from the middle of the 10th century, Ladakh was an independent kingdom , its dynasties descending from the king of old Tibet. Its political fortunes ebbed and flowed over the centuries, and the kingdom, was at its greatest in the early 17th century under the famous king Sengge Namgyal, whose rule extended across Spiti and western Tibet up to the Mayumla beyond the sacred sites of Mount Kailash and Lake Mansarovar.

Ladakh Modern Routes
Today, travellers from Srinagar drive on this route in the relative comfort of taxis, local buses or their own vehicles, taking two days and breaking journey at Kargil. It provides the best possible introduction to the land and its people.

Ladakh Oracles
The Ladakhis believe implicitly in the influence of gods and spirits on the material world, and undertake no major enterprise without taking this influence into consideration. The lamas are the vital intermediaries between the human and the spirit worlds.

Ladakh Religion
Islam too came from the west. A peaceful penetrationof the Shia sect spearheaded by missionaries, its success was guaranteed by the early conversion of the sub-rulers of Dras, Kargil and the Suru Valley.

Ladakh Tourist Information
The main overland approach to Ladakh is from the Kashmir Valley via the 434 km Drinagar-Leh road which remains open for traffic from early June to November. The most dramatic part of this road journey is the ascent up the 11,500 feet/3,505 m high Zoji-la, the pass in the Great Himalayan Wall that serves as the gateway to Ladakh.